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Lithuania's coalition government pledges support for 'those who fight for freedom' in Taiwan

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By Euronews with AFP
The tree centre-right parties that won Lithuania's October parliamentary elections are fronted by former finance minister Ingrida Simonyte.
The tree centre-right parties that won Lithuania's October parliamentary elections are fronted by former finance minister Ingrida Simonyte.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File
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Lithuania's new ruling coalition has agreed to defend "those who fight for freedom" in Taiwan, threatening EU relations with China.

The agreement signed by leaders of the Homeland Union, Liberal Movement and Freedom parties has bound the new government to carry out a “values-based foreign policy”.

“We will actively oppose any violation of human rights and democratic freedoms, and will defend those fighting for freedom around the world, from Belarus to Taiwan".

European Union member states have no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, an island which Beijing considers is part of China.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has expressed appreciation for the support.

"Lithuania and Taiwan are partners with similar ideas, and continue to defend shared values ​​with specific actions to friends in the country," it said in a statement.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sincerely appreciates that it will continue to push Taiwan-Lithuania bilateral relations forward in the future".

Euronews has reached out to China’s embassy in Vilnius for a statement in response.

The outgoing centre-left Lithuanian government did not dispute Beijing’s “one China” policy towards Taiwan and maintained trade relations with Beijing.

The three centre-right parties that won Lithuania's October parliamentary elections signed a coalition agreement on Monday to replace the previous government.

The new government will be led by former conservative finance minister Ingrida Simonyte.

The coalition has also promised to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reduce bureaucracy and legalise same-sex unions in Lithuania.

Ingrida Simonyte further pledged to keep Lithuania in the eurozone and to strengthen ties with NATO.

The new government is expected to be sworn in in December.